The 1991 NBA draft took place on June 25, 1991, in New York City, New York. Dikembe Mutombo is regarded as the best overall pick in this draft, becoming one of the greatest defensive centers in the history of the league. He was a four-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year award winner and an eight-time All-Star, and played in the league for 18 seasons.
Larry Johnson won the 1992 NBA Rookie of the Year award and was a two-time All-Star, the first player to represent the Charlotte Hornets franchise at an All-Star game. However, early in his professional career ongoing back problems decreased his effectiveness and caused his numbers to decline dramatically. Due to his chronic back problems, he retired in 2001.
Other notable picks include Kenny Anderson, Steve Smith, Terrell Brandon, Dale Davis and Chris Gatling, who all made All-Star appearances, but with the exception of Brandon at two, each only appeared once.
The remaining picks in the first round failed to make an impact. Billy Owens was selected by the Sacramento Kings but refused to sign with them. He was traded to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for high-scoring guard Mitch Richmond, a trade that has been regarded as one of the most lopsided in NBA history. Owens was solid but unspectacular in his career, while Richmond was a six-time All-Star and was the 1989 NBA Rookie of the Year. Luc Longley was a three-time NBA Championship winner with the Chicago Bulls and held the record for playing the most NBA games by an Australian (broken by Andrew Bogut during the 2015–16 season).
As of 2011, two players are deceased: Bobby Phills and Bison Dele (drafted as Brian Williams before changing his name). Phills died in a car accident involving teammate David Wesley. Dele disappeared in the South Pacific in July 2002, with French authorities claiming that Dele's brother had killed Dele and his girlfriend and thrown them overboard the catamaran they were travelling on. Dele's brother committed suicide in September 2002.
This was the last draft held in New York City until 2001.